How Safe Is Your Floor?

How Safe Is Your Floor?
If you live in a home built prior to 1990, chances are the floor tile and linoleum, may have asbestos in it. Asbestos was used in flooring materials to strengthen it and increase its durability.
Should you worry about this? When does this asbestos pose a hazard?
According to the Minnesota Department of Health:
Flooring that contains asbestos, when intact and in good condition, is generally considered nonfriable and is not hazardous.
Heat, water, weathering or aging can weaken flooring to the point where it is considered friable. Friable flooring includes any material containing more than 1 percent asbestos that can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder with hand pressure. This includes previously nonfriable flooring material which has been damaged to the extent that it may be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Flooring can also be made friable during its removal. Friable materials can release asbestos fibers into the air. Once in the air, asbestos fibers present a health hazard to people who inhale those fibers.
If you suspect you have asbestos in your flooring and it has become friable, our founder and President, James C. Watson, recommends the following:
1. Do not disturb the tiles.
2. Do not sweep up or vacuum any debris.
3. Avoid walking in the area to prevent cross contamination throughout the rest of the home.
4. Shut down your HVAC system (A/C & Furnace) so that the asbestos does not spread and contaminate the air in other parts of the home.
5. Wear a N95 respirator, preferably a Magenta HEPA filter on a half face respirator.
6. Purchase an abatement HEPA vacuum.
7. Seal off the area using 6 mil poly.
8. Seal off all hot air vents and cold air returns.
9. HEPA vacuum thoroughly and wet wipe using soap and water covering every square inch including the ceiling, walls and all contents.
Got Mold? offers asbestos abatement services and has the proper equipment and trained staff to tackle any project. If you suspect you have asbestos in the floor and are concerned that some asbestos fibres are in the air, please contact us so that we can ensure the safety of your family.
To learn more about asbestos, please check out these links:
Should I Be Concerned About Asbestos?
The Asbestos Abatement Process
Why is Asbestos so Scary?
Got Asbestos?
Asbestos Removal and Abatement
Asbestos Is The “Ideal Carcinogen”
To learn more about asbestos in floor tiles, visit InspectAPedia, an online encycolopedia of building materials.